Classical 91.5

Classical Blog

Musical summer reading for kids

Jul 9, 2018

Love music? Love books? Here’s a great way for kids to combine a love of reading and music this summer in Rochester.

One of my favorite little things about Rochester that I discovered after moving here is that we had busts of Goethe and Schiller around town.  Sadly, Goethe was stolen a few years ago from Highland Park, never to be seen again. But we still have Friedrich Schiller, best known to music fans as the writer of the words to the Ode to Joy, used by Beethoven in the finale of his ninth symphony.

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly One, thy sanctuary!
Your magic binds again
What convention strictly divides;
All people become brothers,
Where your gentle wing abides.

Today, as I biked by, I had to stop – because Schiller had some artistic company, right next to his little park on Andrews Street. Fiber art (yarnbombing?) by someone who knew his musical connections. The lighting was a little blah this morning, but still – hope these make you smile too. 
 

LGBT Artists Through the Ages

Jun 19, 2018
http://www.fscclub.com/history/fame-duelists-e.shtml

As June is LGBT-Pride Month, we here at WXXI 91.5 Classical Radio have been reflecting on how many LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) artists have rocked the classical music scene throughout the ages. From composers, to performers, to conductors, so many LGBT people (Here’s a short list: Benjamin Britten, Samuel Barber, Ethyl Smyth, Arnold Schoenberg) have shaped and innovated classical music for the better.

Yes, You Can

Jun 19, 2018
Hochstein School of Music & Dance

Let's talk about your voice.  Your singing voice. 

Do you like it? 

Has someone ever told you shouldn't sing?  

According to The Huffington Post, about 85 percent of us have been actively discouraged from singing out loud by the very people (parents, teachers, or friends) who perhaps should encourage all forms of self-expression.

Growing Pains: Opera in 2018

Jun 14, 2018

While in the theater, you hear snippets of conversations. While watching Eastman Opera Theatre’s production of Light in the Piazza, I overheard the following: “Where is the Bathroom? How long is intermission? Did you know Jill left Andy for another man?!” But over the hum of the Eastman Opera Theatre Orchestra tuning, I heard the five little words every aspiring classical vocalist shudders to hear: “Opera is a dying art.”

After having so much fun researching and speaking about the music that surrounded Queen Victoria, in her personal and public life, I have decided to create a Spotify playlist of some of that music.  It's a crazy anachronism, I know, but if I put it on a wax cylinder or one of Edison's machines, I don't think it would be as useful for you. 

Brenda Tremblay

You don't have to journey far to view fascinating musical instruments on display.

In Alfred, this summer, for example, see and touch Vladimir Horowitz's own Steinway piano, #314503, now known simply as CD 503, on its tour throughout North America during Alfred University’s upcoming MostArts Festival, scheduled for July 8-14th.

Cue the Pomp and Circumstance march.    It’s graduation season!   Here come rows and rows of beautiful young humans in caps and gowns, prepared to face an uncertain future. 

I’ve been thinking about rites of passage a lot since my oldest, Beverly, will graduate from college this spring and my third and youngest, Gavin, is about to finish high school.   His next move?  He’ll study music in the fall.  He wants to teach, which both thrills and worries me.  But I’m a born worrier.

Love at Fifth Sight: On Becoming a Composer

Apr 16, 2018

A guest blog by composer Wang Jie

Almost all musicians cocoon their mistakes behind practice room doors. When they walk on stage, their bow marks the beginning of truth, and beauty, and butterflies. I’m a composer. I make all my mistakes in public, in front of musicians I admire, people I care about. Still, after each performance of my work, I’m invited to appear on stage to take bows. Nine out of ten of these performances are world premieres. I will have just greeted the result of months, sometimes years of gestation and labor.

Creative Commons

Did we say thank you?  

Just look at this.

It's good news about Classical 91.5 listeners from Stuart Hencke, Deputy Director at Rochester Education Foundation, who writes:

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